UK: PM’s aide Dominic Cummings accused of breaking lockdown rules


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resisted calls on Saturday from opposition events to sack adviser Dominic Cummings after he travelled 400km (250 miles) from London to northern England whereas his spouse confirmed COVID-19 signs.

The Guardian and Mirror newspapers reported that Cummings, who masterminded the 2016 marketing campaign to go away the European Union in the course of the Brexit referendum, was seen at his dad and mom’ property in Durham, northeast England, on the finish of March.


A lockdown that started on March 23 stipulated that folks ought to stay at their main residence, leaving just for important native errands and train, and never go to family members. Anyone with signs was informed to fully isolate themselves.

Durham Police mentioned that officers went to a home on March 31 and “explained to the family the guidelines around self-isolation and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel”. Police didn’t point out Cummings by title.

Johnson’s workplace mentioned Cummings made the journey to make sure his younger son may very well be correctly cared for, as his spouse was in poor health with COVID-19 and there was a “high likelihood” that Cummings would himself turn into unwell.

“I behaved reasonably and legally,” Cummings informed reporters exterior his home after telling them to remain two metres aside in accordance with authorities pointers.

When a reporter mentioned it didn’t look good, he mentioned: “Who cares about good looks – it’s a question of doing the right thing it’s not about what you guys think.”

Downing Street mentioned his “actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines.” Johnson’s most senior ministers, together with Michael Gove, overseas secretary Dominic Raab and well being secretary Matt Hancock, defended Cummings.

But opposition events referred to as for Johnson to sack Cummings and mentioned the lockdown rules made clear that these with suspected COVID-19 signs ought to isolate with their entire family.

“The prime minister’s chief adviser appears to believe that it is one rule for him and another for the British people,” the Labour Party mentioned. “We are still unclear who knew about this decision and when, whether this was sanctioned by the prime minister.”

Just a number of days earlier than Cummings’ journey, Johnson imposed a lockdown within the United Kingdom and requested folks to remain at home. He mentioned on March 23 that folks “should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home”.

Shortly after Johnson introduced that he had examined constructive for COVID-19, Cummings sprinted out of Downing Street on March 27 and developed signs on the weekend of March 28-29.

Government pointers say that those that have COVID-19 or suspect they’ve it ought to self-isolate for at the least seven days together with their family and never depart their home for any cause.

The Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats referred to as for Cummings to be sacked. Other outstanding figures have resigned after having damaged lockdown rules.

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson stop as a member of the federal government’s scientific advisory group after was visited at home by his girlfriend. Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, stepped down after she was caught making two journeys to her second home.

Dave Penman, the chief of civil servants union the FDA, mentioned: “The prime minister needs to understand how heartbreaking this lockdown has been for so many families and the sacrifices that have been made up and down the country.”

He mentioned Johnson should clarify why “it looks like there is one rule for those at the centre of government and one rule for rest of the country”.